GL Assessment and the ISI’s Educational Quality Inspection process

Yarrells Preparatory School is a co-educational independent day school and nursery located in the town of Upton, Dorset. Sally Moulton, Head Teacher, explains how the school’s use of GL Assessment’s Complete Digital Solution (CDS) helped them to realise excellent judgements across all areas of their recent ISI inspection. 

As Head, I make use of data that is derived from GL Assessment’s suite of tests and surveys several times a week and my staff team also engage with it habitually. The test data has become central to so much of what we do within our school; it is a massively important tool for us.


Robust and reliable processes

The ease with which we have been able to build a picture of attainment and progress within our school over several years means that the whole team at Yarrells is able to challenge itself to make rigorous and effective provision for every student in our care. We have tweaked our processes for interrogating the data over time, and we are now able to implement new schemes where data raises concerns that are cohort-wide.

Key outcomes:

  1. 1

    Build a picture of attainment and progress within your school over several years

  2. 2

    Put in place new interventions for individuals or groups for which data may raise a concern

  3. 3

    Detailed analysis of test feedback, together with teachers’ own assessment information, can support the implementation of effective action in classrooms 

Nothing else I have come across in my teaching career is as robust as the CDS package and, specifically where inspection was concerned, our GL data was an absolute gift!

Sally Moulton, Head Teacher, Yarrells School, Upton

The revisions to our phonics scheme of work after the use of GL Assessment’s New Group Reading Test (NGRT) and Progress Test English (PTE) are testament to this. We have been able to put in place new interventions for individuals or groups for which data may raise a concern, and more generally consider whether our wider practice could be adapted to further promote academic and personal progress.

The data is key to analysing trends and looking for patterns that might be suggestive of areas for improvement. This was never more valuable than post-lockdown, when an identified concern around progress in students’ reading arose from the use of NGRT. Detailed analysis of test feedback, together with teachers’ own assessment information, supported the implementation of effective action in classrooms.

Educational Quality Inspection Excellence

We were inspected by the ISI in the autumn term and were delighted that their findings did justice to the hard work of our whole school community. When it came to evidencing the impact of our efforts, this was very explicit in the form of our data. By triangulating Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) and Progress Test Series data we were able to clearly demonstrate where we deemed further support for individual students to be necessary, with progress category information from the PT Series and NGRT evidencing the positive impact that intervention had on students’ learning. 

The inspection report identified that “pupils’ attainment is well above national expectations” and that “a high rate of progress is maintained throughout the school.” The inspectors also noted that outcomes for identified groups of students (e.g. those with SEND and the most able) are particularly positive, and our ability to exemplify this through the reports available to us was critical.

Having such clarity in the reports, working closely with GL Assessment’s Assessment Insights team to further understand these and the implications for our practice, and then further analysing and unpicking the data within school meant that we went into the inspection process confident in this objective tool and our application of it.

Not using GL Assessment’s robust tracking and analytical tools to support the inspection process would have been missing a trick on our part!

Sally Moulton, Head Teacher, Yarrells School, Upton

Evidence-based decision-making – from everyone

Over many years, we have been able to verify the high levels of attainment and progress across our school and measure the significant impact of the decisions that we take based on that evidence – the ISI inspection report attests to this. The resultant effect on how the school is perceived, both internally and externally, is testament to that evidence-based decision-making.

Through further scrutiny of our data, we have been able to identify standards that students wishing to follow pathways to local senior schools may need to be meeting as early as a couple of years prior to transition. We are able to share with prospective and existing parents the “good news” stories that result from sending a child to our school. Above all else, we are able to make reliably informed judgements about how best to move learning forwards for the young people in our care.

Yarrells School is one of our Advocate Partners.

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